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YouTube loses landmark case in Germany

It does not take a genius to know that if you mule drugs within your body and get caught, then you can expect a stiff prison sentence. So far, most of the data carriers around the world have managed to avoid being done by authorities – even when they are clearly ‘muling' the product. KitGuru snaps on a pair of rubber gloves and prepares to inspect YouTube a little closer.

In Germany, around 60,000 music artists and associates etc, are part of an organisation called Gema.

Gema is responsible for collecting royalties and making sure that every stinking rich artist gets as much money as they can eat. It also makes sure that any budding artist, who wants to get their work out, is also putting their hand out every time someone wants to listen.

The row between Gema and Google-owned YouTube started around the end of 2009 and a court in Hamburg has now ruled that YouTube IS responsible for making royalty payments when music that is covered by Gema is played. Shocking stuff. Almost on a par with ‘Man asked to pay for Big Mac meal in McDonalds' and ‘Woman forced to pay for petrol at the pump'.

Opinions on this kind of suit vary within KitGuru's global offices, but there is one underlying consensus, and that's “We shouldn't have to buy the same thing twice”.

The various creative industries can all club together and send mothers to prison and bankrupt ISPs etc, but the bottom line is that paying a monthly subscription for a TV service and a second subscription for a music service ‘should be enough'. Organisations who want to charge you to listen to a track when you are ‘out and about' using whatever service is available, which you have already bought at home, are skating on thin ice.

Similarly, shouldn't you be allowed to listen to music that you have legitimately purchased on disks/tapes/records – but where the original physical material has developed a fault?

The media owners POURED content across the airwaves for decades without wondering if they were setting up a precedent that consumers would expect ‘free content' in the future. Companies like Sony made billions selling radio/cassette systems with the ability to record radio – then made billions more selling tapes for the recording to happen… yet now put their hands up in shock and surprise when sharing happens that does not involve Sony tapes or recording devices.

If the music and film industries carry these suits to their logical conclusion, then we will never have 4G/5G mobile networks or gigabit internet to the home. You install phat pipes to carry phat content. If users have ALREADY paid for phat content, then it's completely unreasonable to ask them to pay twice or three times or more.

Come on chaps, sort it out.

We all know about Zardon's Endless Love for Shania, but should 85,986 voyeurs have been allowed to see her express the way she feels about him? Also, who should have paid for all this love making?

KitGuru says: It makes no sense to attack the carriers/search engines/providers. It makes much more sense for the music/film industries to accept that people only want to buy media once – at a sensible price – and that they are willing to pay for that to happen. The pricing eco-system for media needs to change and everyone needs to stop making lawyers rich with stupid law suits.

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